KOCHI: With more cases coming to light in the sensational Kerala Housing Finance Ltd (KHFL) scam, in which investors were swindled of vast sums of money after being promised high interest rates, the police have re-registered the FIRs. Three cases were registered at Ernakulam Central police station in the last few days on the crime branch’s recommendation.
“The crime branch asked the local police to probe cases related to KHFL. As the number of cases probed by the crime branch has increased, it was decided to transfer cases to respective police stations. As per the direction, we have re-registered the FIRs of the cases in which complaints were lodged at Ernakulam Central police station. We will be conducting further probe into these cases,” said Central SHO Vijay Shankar S.
Officers said three FIRs against KHFL have been re-registered. In one of the cases, a person named Joy M Varghese of Vyttila was duped by the company after receiving `10 lakh from him in 2014. The money was collected in three bonds after promising high interest. However, no money was paid as interest since 2017. When Joy M Varghese demanded that his deposit be returned, KHFL declined. Another case pertains to the duping of Kozhikode native Premarajan Chandappan, who had deposited `2 lakh in 2015.
Similarly, Padivattom native C A Sasidharan, who deposited `5 lakh, was cheated by the firm. There are around 50 cases registered against KHFL in the state. “In majority of cases, the victims were government pensioners. The retirees were wooed with the promise of 14 per cent interest. The pensioners deposited their retirement benefits with the company. Initially, KHFL provided the interest on the deposit on a monthly basis. But, no interest payments were paid after 2017,” an officer said.
Kochi City police had arrested KHFL managing director G Unnikrishnan Nair for collecting deposits from the public after promising high interest. The company was named KHFL to create the impression that it was a government-owned housing finance company. KHFL, which started operations in 1992, had 29 branches in Kerala and Tamil Nadu till 2018.